Neera Yadav’s luck finally runs out

The editorial “Exit Neera Yadav: Now pursue the cases against her” (Oct 8) was hard-hitting against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav for appointing Neera as Chief Secretary in April even though many charges of corruption against her are under investigation.

Next to Akhand Pratap Singh, another Mulayam protégé who was denied a three-month extension by the Supreme Court, Neera Yadav, UP’s second most corrupt IAS officer, survived the BJP, President’s rule, the Mayawati and Mulayam regimes but her luck finally ran out.

The Supreme Court has asked the Allahabad High Court to dispose of all her appeals in three months, but something is rotten in UP, especially its top bureaucracy (after all, Mayawati’s favourites were indicted in the Taj scandal). The Union Ministry of Personnel should investigate the rust in India’s steel frame and take urgent remedial measures.

VINOD CHOWDHURY, Reader in Economics, St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi


Check hunger for global security

Over 12 million beneficiaries receive fortified blended food under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) through various agencies. However, there are still about 16 million beneficiaries who do not receive micronutrient fortified commodities.

To give an impetus to the Centre’s commitment to reduce micronutrient malnutrition in the country, the World Food Programme (WFP) is examining the opportunities and challenges.

Hunger is not merely a consequence of poverty; it contributes to the perpetuation of poverty. Getting rid of hunger is not only a moral imperative but also makes economic sense, with benefits for the poor and rich alike. It may also contribute to global security.

The WFP goal for 2015 remains attainable, but will require a joint, well-orchestrated effort by all parties. What is important is to move forward quickly with practical measures to reduce hunger.

S.C. DHALL, Zirakpur

Not the remedy

This has reference to Maj-Gen Jatinder Singh’s article, “Trapped in a bunker” (Sept 30). Why has the writer not commented upon the bureaucrats? Water and other resources spent on a single civilian golf course are sufficient to cater to the needs of many villages. One has to think of the Chandigarh Golf Course and similar other courses to realise how the civilian bureaucrats indulge in this sport with abundance.

In olden days, no combat soldier was ever used in the defence clubs and messes since the officers were well paid and were able to employ civilians as caddies and other staff. This is not the situation anymore. Our Army men are the lowest paid in the world today.

As regards lack of training, it is not due to the manpower employed on golf courses but due to the Indian Army being tied down on counter terrorist tasks and internal security duties with vastly reduced peace area tenures. One has to get to the roots of the problem and not be satisfied in criticising the Army golfers. Cure the malady, not the symptom.

Brig HARWANT SINGH (retd), Mohali


The writer has advocated the conversion of golf courses to training grounds. His point regarding giving more time for training to troops, specially of Artillery and Engineers, is very well taken. But the remedy he suggests is like prescribing chopping off the head to cure a headache!

Golf courses are increasingly being taken care of through mechanisation. This trend needs to be reinforced and the small labour needs still left over be taken care of by employing civilian labour. Golf courses are an environmental boon and valuable stress busters for harried commanders and staff officers.


Challenging task

The latest World Development Report has focussed on economic growth. Today, reduction of poverty and bridging the gap between the rich and the poor in India is the most challenging task before the government. We still have over 250 million people below the poverty line. By calling India a super power, we are mocking at our poor. We should call ourselves a superpower only once we ensure that every Indian has a roof over his head, two square meals a day and a reason to smile.


A good journalist

S.S. Bhatti’s middle “A newspaper’s many personalities” was interesting. A newspaper’s multi-faceted personality requires that journalists inculcate certain traits.

Arnold Myers beautifully describes qualities that make a good journalist, who should have “the endurance of a travelling salesman, the courage of a mountaineer, the patience of a job, the caution of a policeman, the alertness of a lawyer, the impartiality of a judge, the veracity of an actor, the imagination of a novelist, the perception of an artist, the resignation of a philosopher, the sympathetic insight of a psychologist and balance, sympathy and pity of a human being”. A journalist should also have “a nose for news”.


Train for Gorakhpur

Many people from Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) and nearby places are residing in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali. However, in the absence of a direct train from Chandigarh, they find it difficult to travel to Gorakhpur.

I have a suggestion to mitigate the hardship of the passengers. The Railway Ministry should extend the Chandigarh-Lucknow Sadhbhavana Express (Train No. 4232) to Gorakhpur. Alternatively, the Gorakhpur-Rohtak Gorakhdham Express (Train No. 2555) may be extended up to Chandigarh.

ANAND DUBEY, Panchkula


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